Live TV vs. on demand viewing: what does tomorrow’s world have in store for broadcasting?

Montpellier, 26 September 2013 – IDATE has released the latest edition of its report devoted to the future of TV, and to video distribution as a whole. Supported by its latest research, IDATE indicates a tipping point in TV industry evolution, predicting changes in viewer behaviour and evolving business models, as the new industry player hierarchy is now taking shape. In this report, IDATE identifies how current consumer behaviour is shaping TV services for future years.

According to IDATE’s Deputy CEO, Gilles Fontaine, “this new report provides an opportunity to completely rethink the distribution models used for TV and video content, much in the way we believe content producers and providers, network operators and app stores are doing”.

IDATE proposes and describes a "Business as usual" scenario, characterised by several key points including:

live viewing partially overtaken by on-demand viewing;

piracy that creates obstacles to the switch from physical to online viewing;

increased competition in the pay-TV market, affecting prices;

ad rates for live TV decrease and increase for video on-demand (VoD).

According to this prediction, the video market on fixed and mobile networks worldwide will grow by an average of 3.2% per year from 2013 to 2025 – which includes average 2% growth for live TV and 14% annual growth for on-demand service. The market’s growth will be much lower in developed markets, however. This means that in Europe’s top five markets (EU-5) – i.e. Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Spain – average annual growth will stand at 1.6% from 2013 to 2025, with the live TV market (including broadcasters’ catch-up TV services) in decline by 0.7%, while on-demand services experience an average annual increase of 18.5%.

Growth of video service revenue on fixed and mobile networks (EU-5, million EUR)
Source: IDATE

Alongside this “middle of the road” scenario, IDATE outline two alternative possibilities that depict how the increased replacement or parallel use of live and on-demand viewing would affect the TV industry’s future:

"The music industry syndrome": in this pessimistic, disruptive scenario, the video services market in the EU-5 will shrink by an average -0.8% a year, and not be offset by on-demand services, including catch-up TV services that will decrease by an average -4% annually.

"Best of both worlds": at the other end of the spectrum, this optimistic viewpoint puts average annual growth at +3.9%, including 2% growth for live broadcasting services.

The three development scenarios for the TV market, 2009-2025 (EU-5, million EUR)
Source: IDATE